Research Brief Success factors for local online marketplaces

Local online marketplaces are one among many ways to promote local trade. Their number has grown significantly in recent years, and especially since the onset of the Corona pandemic. However, when looking at the success of the individual initiatives, large differences become apparent. A first short study from November 2021 on this top-ic highlights selected case studies of successful local online marketplaces. This study highlights the challenges for the marketplaces described and summarises the success factors for economically sustainable operation. Four success factors has been identified: project management for a lively marketplace, digitalisation of products and processes, local awareness of the online marketplace and integrated local delivery.

These success factors are a good basis for the sustainable economic success of local online marketplaces and the associated marketplace players. It is striking that profitably operating marketplaces were mainly initiated by commercial operators. Local online marketplaces run by municipalities do not seem to be able to cover their costs to the same extent so far, however, the data situation is not sufficient for a conclusive as-sessment. Whether both municipal and commercial local marketplaces will survive in the long term remains to be seen. In addition to the success factors described above, it also plays a role whether local traders are committed to them in the long term. For this to happen, the activities on the local online marketplace would have to be profitable for them or have sufficiently other positive effects, e.g. with regard to the ROPO effect (re-search online, purchase offline) or customer acquisition. Furthermore, local online mar-ketplaces compete with national and international platforms such as Amazon Market-place, Ebay or Zalando Connected Retail. If other platforms are more attractive - e.g. because of their reach or costs - traders could leave.

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